A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

Published by Balzer + Bray

Summary:  Resilience comes to life in a NASA lab, a rover built to explore Mars.  At first, he thinks he is a back-up for another rover named Journey, but he eventually learns that he is the one being sent into space.  He is curious about humans, or hazmats as he calls them, and particularly takes a liking to engineers Rania and Xander.  Rania has a daughter named Sophie, who starts writing letters to Resilience.  Although the rover never sees them, the letters give readers some insights into Rania’s home and family life.  The book is divided into five parts that cover more than 20 years, as Resilience gets launched and explores Mars with his drone, and friend, Fly.  An accident puts the rover out of commission for many years, but in the end, he is able to realize his dream and Rania’s of returning him to Earth.  320 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Jasmine Warga does an amazing job of realistically bringing Resilience to life with a personality and curiosity that still keeps him in the realm of machine yet shows readers human emotions.  The subplot about Raina told through Sophie’s letters is also extremely well done and very moving.  A great recommendation for fans of The Wild Robot, and a Newbery contender for sure.

Cons:  While I could very much appreciate this book, I never really got engrossed in it. I guess I just generally prefer reading about people.

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